First up, we have Shannon Hale and Dean Hale’s story of an awesome, crime-fighting princess, Princess in Black. In this one we are introduced to our superhero princess, Princess Magnolia. She has the nosy Duchess Wigtower over for hot cocoa. Just then, the secret monster alarm goes off. Magnolia excuses herself and takes on her ninja-like crime fighting identity – the Princess in Black! The Princess in Black goes to save the goat herd and send the invading monster back to his land.
With gorgeous illustrations, fast moving plot, and engaging action, Princess in Black is a must read for children of all ages!
I then went in a different direction and read an amazing YA novel. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, tells the story of Melinda. Melinda is a high school freshman who is suddenly outcast from her group of friends. As the novel progresses, Melinda speaks less and less. The reader discovers why she is not speaking, and the events surrounding the night that changed her life forever.
This powerful novel was a tough one to put down. It is written without much dialogue, but rather, as a stream of consciousness type narrative. Laurie Halse Anderson has said that she woke up one night from a nightmare to hear a girl screaming. That inner girl is the character who became Melinda. I loved the writing and totally relate to Melinda’s feelings of being lost within oneself.
Finally, I went back to one of the books on my TBR from last fall’s Children’s Lit class. The Poet Slave of Cuba, by Margarita Engle, tells the story of Juan Francisco Manzano. Juan was a slave in Havanna who is incredibly talented at reciting and creating poems and songs. This biographical tale, adapted from Juan’s own autobiography, explores the confusion, frustration, and growth of this amazing poet.
I loved the verse writing style! She truly attempted to keep close to the essence of Manzano. His story is one of heartbreak, joy, pain, and love. This was a true “book-a-day” read as I started and finished it in an afternoon!
Well, that’s what is up for this past week! I am currently reading a twisted Sleeping Beauty tale and anxiously awaiting the arrival of Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige. My Amazon account estimates I’ll get that one by Friday – a full 2 1/2 days post publication day. I guess I have to survive though!